Vesak Day Nongsa Cruise 2019

We were blessed with a rare long weekend due to Vesak Day celebrations, the perfect opportunity for a short getaway to Nongsa Point Marina & Resort, Batam.

3 was the magic number – as 3 boats, 3 couples and 3 families departed CSC moorings for Batam on Saturday, 18th May. Immigrations & Customs was a smooth affair – thank you Ronny for the efficient and reliable administration/documentation, as always!

The journey south was calm and uneventful, with a welcome shower greeting us as we entered the Eastern Anchorage being the only source of excitement. Southern Light took the shortest route to Nongsa, braving the rain clouds to set a straight course of 170 to the marina entrance, wasting no time getting across the shipping channel to safe haven and an inviting pool. Both Waka Tere and Elessar took their time to enjoy a short beat south with the gentle breeze, arriving 2 hours later to complete the CSC family at NPM.

Evening dinner plans took most of us to Wandi’s, a seafood restaurant just 5-10mins drive from the Marina. They served up a sumptuous spread of seafood paired with ice-cold bintangs, a perfect end to our first day.

Day 2 was free & easy, Kurt and Gill from Waka Tere did some boat maintenance in the Marina, Elessar went for a day cruise, Team Southern Light enjoyed some water games and jet-skiing at Turi Beach and Stefan soaked in the beauty and tranquility of Nongsa Village with his family.

I think the lure of cruising to Nongsa, Batam lies in the accessibility of the location and flexibility of the itinerary. Just a leisurely 3 hour sail from Singapore, it is definitely the go-to location for a short-weekend getaway with full amenities.

Big thank you to Southern Light for having myself and Nicole on board – we had a wonderful time! Not forgetting Prakash and Team, for the impeccable service. With it being an easy entry-level cruise, we look forward to having more members joining us for the next Cruise to Nongsa – we can’t wait!

Choy

Singapore – Langkawi Round Trip Cruise on Eriphine!

The final beer before departure!

5:30am we’ve left CSC. The first taste of sailing by night.

Thanks to Ronny (CSC’s Accounts Executive), outbound immigration clearing was a piece of cake. Five minutes besides our beloved ICA cutter and we had been FREE. All incoming foreign barges, heading for immigration clearing, had been way behind us.

Starting the 1st long leg of 178nm by sailing right besides the traffic separation zone was a good decision. Just a few vessels were crossing our way. Even when crossing Sisters-, Jurong- and Sinki-Fairway, thanks to Nina’s great outlook we were always able to maintain a reasonable distance to those…..Read More

Easter Weekend Cruise 19-21 April 2019

The final count was 16 boats, such a big turnout for a Sebana/Telok Sengat cruise…Fantastic!!! Happy to share my short account of the weekend.

By 9.30 am, almost all the boats had left the mooring and headed towards Angler’s for the immigration clearance. The tide was rather slack which made the sail out easier, notably for me as I had a cooling water issue on Skybird. 1200 rpm was about the best I could do, which meant near zero forward movement against the strong tides that took control for the rest of the journey.

The smooth clearance at Angler’s helped make a good start to the trip to Sungei Shanti and onto Sebana. The breeze then was generally light and was coming on the nose which made sailing to Angler difficult, so most decided to motor the way there.

The faster ones made it good up river and arrived nice and dry, unfortunately, the few that were slower, where caught in a heavy downpour and were left drenched to the bones. It has been quite a while since I last stood in a downpour and it was quite cold. As we finally approached the marina, Desmond in Todak, who wasn’t too sure about Sebana, radioed me to ask which berth he should take, my answer to him was to find one that wasn’t raining. Fortunately, the rain cleared as we entered the marina, clear skies took over and the rest of the afternoon went to immigration clearance, hotel check-ins and boat cleaning.

Free and easy was the call for the night, Southern Light played host by opening up their boat for a Dock BBQ. However, some already had plans of their own and it ended with BBQ’s at various boats, some went into town for the annual seafood fix at Sungei Ringgit.

As part of this cruise to Sebana, boats can also choose to sail up the Johor River to Teluk Sengat. From the immigration point at Tanjung Pengelih; Sengat is about 13 nautical miles away, a nice 3-hour sail, if the conditions are right. Kurt and Gill in Waka Tere were the only ones that did it and had themselves a sumptuous seafood dinner. The next day they joined the rest of us at Sebana.

Soon the hours went by and everyone went into their own cozy corner for a well-deserved sleep. The nice thing about Sebana is that you can actually chillout there. No hard and fast rules or programmes to follow, truly, to each his own. I feel that it is this common thought that many of us have that make the trip to Sebana a very relaxed and enjoyable event.

Saturday was no different, we all went about doing our own things, some took advantage of the time and convenience to give a good cleaning to their boat. Others went to town while others just lazed around. Together with the crew from Todak, we went further up river in our tenders in search of an old crab farm. After meandering up the river we finally reach the location, it looked so run down that we thought it was shut. Sections of the zinc roofing were blown off, wooden planked-walls were torn, a small fish holding area that was there which didn’t look functional. Must have been some big winds that had come along and took parts of the structure along.

Even then we motored forward to have a closer look. Then we saw an area to the back that was still intact and out popped a head through a window of sought. We asked if they still sold crabs, then the RM250 answer came back and we were in business. After some talking and bargaining, we walked away with three huge crabs and at that price, we were happy. And that was dinner for the night. May be this could be one of a new attraction for our next visit to Sebana; bring your own tender for a crab cruise.

Another thing which I would like to share with you is our visit to Dr. Raymond Tan and his dear wife Margaret. They owned one of those units opposite of the Marina which has their own berth. Ray and Margaret have been members of CSC for a long time. What I actually want to share is that he brought out an old club T-shirt to show and it was made of towel material. Odd but interesting, photo’s will be shown. Btw, Raymond is retired and in he’s earlier days, he circumnavigated the world together with his wife in their yacht Tien Fei. To my knowledge, that makes them and Richard Howe, in his yacht Rum Bottle, the only members from CSC that had done it. If this is incorrect, sincere apologies to all other circumnavigators of CSC!

Time went by swiftly; we soon devoured the freshly bought Crabs in the evening and by late night we had our usual CSC gathering at the Oyster bar and in the Pirates Creek. It was nice to be able to sit around and chat with like-minded people; sailors!!

On Sunday, it was time to bid our farewell to Sebana Cove Resort as boats made preparations for the return trip to Singapore. By 1130, all boats had departed Sebana and headed for their clearance into Singapore. Then came the journey out the river and towards Anglers, many had already reached the location while I was still awhile away. I could hear the calls to immigration and hearing the reply that we needed to get coastguard clearance before proceeding to immigration. A tone of clear frustration was how I thought of the situation. Immigration was trying to offer queue numbers to the horde of boats but there was a queue. It looked like this is to be the norm when coming back into Singapore waters, so PCG before ICA. It was nice that the police were friendly about it, a nice hello on ch. 16 and we were cleared. Being about the last to arrive, the waiting time wasn’t too long before we were on our way back to the club. After clearing immigration, a 10 to 12 knot breeze came and that made our sail back to the club fun and much quicker then motoring. That was the only moment in the entire event when I could actually shut off the engine and sail Sky Bird.

With that we conclude another fun cruise and we thank all the participants for making this another successful event and for breaking the record for having the greatest number of boat entries; 16.

 

Thank you; Waka Tere, Southern Light, Ikaroa, New Blue Eyes, Midnight Blue, Withywindle, Sui Lynn, Zephyr, Cicak, Miss Visayan, Temptress of Down, Todak, Elessar, Defiance, Firefly and Gary Ng + Family (Cartman) who joined us via land transport!

 

Goodwill Cruise to Nongsa

On 15 & 16 December, CSC organised a Goodwill Cruise to Nongsa Point Marina – in support of the sailors of Riau Yacht Club.

The Riau Yacht Club is a small dinghy club operating off a little beachfront at the western corner of the Marina. They reach out to the children from the rural areas of batam and invite them to learn how to sail on the optimists, bytes and lasers. As these children are mostly from low-income families, the Yacht Club offers a sailing training programme for free, sponsored by Indonesian Businessman Kris Wiluan.

Our Members brought clothes, food, stationery, bags and various other items from Singapore to donate to the young sailors of Riau Yacht Club. 4 out of the 5 boats were on their maiden cruising trip, made further enjoyable by the amazing hospitality at Nongsa Point Marina.

We would like to thank the following Yachts for taking part in our inaugural goodwill cruise:

  1. SDF / Derek Sharples
  2. Emmanuel II / Desmond Wong
  3. Swannee / Mackson Chia
  4. Eriphine / Matthias Gaede
  5. Elessar / Michael Huffines

Not forgetting the Members who donated your pre-loved items and the team at Nongsa Point Marina for helping make this Goodwill Cruise a success – Thank you!

We look forward to making this an annual affair, do join us on our next Goodwill Cruise in 2019. Details to be updated on our E-newsletter and Website.

 

CSC Optimist Championships Gold Fleet – Day 4

The Final Day of the Gold Fleet Championships was a quick and exciting run of two pennant 3 races, due to the early arrival of the North-northeasterly winds. Wind speeds hit a consistent 8-10 knots, giving sailors a windy treat on the course!

2017 winner Muhammad Raihan Bin Mohd Airudin secured his title defence with a 3rd and 12th place finish in today’s races – putting him 8 points ahead of 2nd placed Radiance Koh. Radiance sailed brilliantly from Day 2 onwards, steadily creeping up the standings each day to complete this regatta as 1st runner-up. She displaces Josiah Tan into 3rd place, whose 22nd placing in the final race costed him a drop to 3rd.

The Junior Mixed Division is meant to encourage the sailors who have made it into the Gold Fleet at such a young age. Zach Low tops this division in 37th place, just 5 rungs above Isaac Poon in 42nd. Oon Cheanng Qi completes the top 3 and scored 54th overall. CSC representative Antonin Radue showed much promise throughout the regatta, placing in the top 10 for 3 races. Despite finishing a commendable 18th overall, he will need to work on his consistency should he wish to climb the standings for future regattas.

Many Thanks to the Sailors, Parents and volunteers for joining us over the past 4 days! We would also like to extend a Big Thank You to Jerrold Ng and Michael Tan for presiding over this event as the Juries. Last but not least, Thank you once again to Xtreme Sailing Products for the generously sponsoring the prizes!

Congratulations to all the winners – we look forward to hosting everyone again next year – till then, happy holidays!

 

Results

2018 Optimist Gold Final Results

 

CSC Optimist Championships Gold Fleet – Day 3

The wind finally delivered on the 3rd  day of the Gold Fleet Championships, as a fresh northerly breeze allowed us to witness sailors hiking out for the very first time in this Regatta.  Following an ill-disciplined fleet and an impromptu Rule 42 Talk by International Jury Jerrold Ng, sailors were very cautious on the start line and with regards to their body movements today. Managing to complete 4 races over 5 hours – race organisers can now breathe easy going into the final day with 10 races already completed.

After 10 races, Muhammad Raihan Bin Mohd Airudin continues to hold a healthy lead over his nearest rival by a comfortable 9 points. After 2 discards, Josiah sneaks ahead of Ethan Teo to take 2nd place with only 2 points separating the both of them. Radiance Koh bettered her previous day’s results yet again, drawing first blood in Race 7 & 8 to score 2 bullets – helping to drive her into 4th place. Further down the pack, Zach Low Yu Jie leads the Junior Division in 31st overall – not bad for a sailor who just entered the gold fleet not too long ago!

1 day and 2 races to go – we’re looking forward to an exciting finale and can’t wait to see who will be crowned the 2018 CSC Optimist Champion!

Results

2018 Optimist Gold Day 3

 

Birregurra to Anambas – August 2018

Birregurra has  recently returned from a fabulous cruise to the Anambas Islands. This was really quite different from anything  Birregurra  has  done before. The anchorages, sailing, remoteness and in particular the wind, were just fantastic. A total of four on board – John, Jane, Veron and myself. Anambas is at the south western edge of the South China Sea, so it’s quite exposed and isolated, and we needed good preparation, as there are no marinas and almost no assistance.

The preparation

John must have been a young ‘un when he first sailed on Rona?

The best preparation is to read and re-read the Howath’s journey, and follow precisely their anchorage waypoints – they are very accurate:  https://www.thehowarths.net/cruising-information/cruising-notes/449-the-anambas-islands-2016  Thanks also to Ashley for relaying some of his extensive learnings from his trip last year.

 

The Charts  in this area are not so accurate. John downloaded the KAP files from the Howarth’s link, which meant we had google earth images on a pc, which when connected to the yacht’s nav wifi, gave us an accurate position  in relation to the coral  on approach to anchorages – very, very helpful.

We ramped up preparations in the final week. Provisioned mostly via RedMart who delivered to the start of the jetty. Apart from two lunches ashore, we ate all meals aboard, so lots of food and drinks to load up. We carried 500L of water in two tanks (only 300L used), 160L of diesel in the fuel tank and another 125L in plastic jerry cans (also not used). 60M of chain plus another 30M spare in a locker, and most importantly, a bloody good anchor. A life raft, sat phone, personal location beacon, updated B&G Navionics, backed up with an ipad, pc and charts. Plus all the usual safety kit, tools and spares. We were loaded up.

Nongsa

We set off from CSC at 9:25am on the Sat 4th Aug, cleared Immigration at Angler, and motored the 15NM to Nongsa into the wind. Cleared into Indonesia, caught a taxi to Batu Besar and got local SIMs (actually very limited coverage throughout the Anambas Islands) and had a fabulous local lunch before heading back to the Marina and some last minute preparations.

How they used to make ‘em

The girls were impressed with the hot showers and free laundry.  We decided to stick to plan (despite reports of 4M seas), and after a quick look at Rona (a 1895 sailing yacht John first sailed on), we let go at 11am.

The sail up

The rain came down almost immediately, so we motored for the first 45mins, but then with 2 reefs in the main and a full jib, we cut the engine – not to be restarted until we arrived at our anchorage. As we settled, we shook out one reef, and then stayed on a starboard tack all the way, with 13-19kn of consistent wind on the beam. We rounded Horsburgh lighthouse and stayed to the southern side of the shipping channel. We had minimal traffic, a million stars and excellent wind. John and i did 4hr shifts. Poor Veron was very seasick most of the way, but we all wore life jackets and were tethered on overnight as the seas became quite confused with a very uncomfortable 1-2M swell.

 

Veron admiring the sunset (or feeding the fish?)

John somehow managed to hang on down below and cooked a loaf of bread in the oven, and we arrived to the North East of Jemaja and had our anchor down before 11am. What a ride – 186NM in under 24hrs – this is what Birregurra was designed for. We anchored on 14M in sand, and had some excellent snorkelling. Veron was quickly back to her usual self, and we had one of Meau’s fabulous pre cooked Thai curries for dinner.

Anchorages around the Anambas Islands

After a  breakfast of sausages and bacon and fresh bread, we pumped up the kayak and John and I paddled to Pulau Ayam, and explored a disused house which for some reason had 5 bras wrapped around the central pillar – we were not sure if this was a structural improvement or something else 🙂

The inflatable kayak worked very well, when someone paddled

We motored out between the islands, following the Howarth way points, and at one point, our nav said we were over land! – which thankfully we were not. We sailed the 3.5NM to Teluk Mampro under jib only, and anchored along a 3km beach in 5M on sand. All four of us piled into to the kayak (designed for 2-3), and we paddled ashore.

We then walked 2km to Letong town, stopping by the local school for some free wifi..

After watching a cadet parade where the local girls amusedly wore hijabs and pj bottoms, we found a very local restaurant, that sourced a couple of unrefrigerated beers but lots of ice.

Day 4 was a bit rainy early, but we had John’s home baked rolls with bacon. We motored to Pulau Impul and anchored. There were unchartered awash rocks nearby which made me a bit nervous.

After snorkelling, we had roast chicken for lunch, then pulled up full sails and headed to Telaga, about 14NM. I was just off the helm and down below, and heard something bang on the foredeck. By the time i was on deck, the head sail was fully down and in the water behind the stern, but still tacked on. The top shackle had come undone. We recovered the sail and continued under main only.  We anchored at the Howarth’s recommended spot in 18.5M (under the keel) between Pulau Lima and Telaga Kechil. Quite a bit of wind funnelling up the channel, and so with the jib swivel stuck at the top of the forestay, there was no way we could sensibly send someone up the mast to retrieve it. John remembered something he had seen on the internet in one of his more idle moments.

The girls find a new multi-tool

The girls find a new multi-tool

And so out came the potato masher (only the old fashioned ones will work), lifted up by the spin halyard, and down hauled with the remaining furling line. We pulled it up and managed to snag the swivel and pull it down. With a new shackle, we raised and furled the jib and sat down for a well earned beer. Although we were bobbing around quite a bit, we enjoyed a secure nights sleep.

Next morning after a visit from a fisherman in a dug out canoe, we sailed under jib to Durai – otherwise known as Turtle Island. Attempting to anchor to the north in 20+M, the chain partially wrapped around a coral head, and so the anchor didnt set. It was a bit of a tricky situation, so John snorkelled ahead and with excellent visibility, could see the bottom and we steered our way around and out of trouble and recovered the anchor without drama.We pulled up the sails and headed to the South East of Semut, making 8-9kn of boat speed with 15kn of wind on the beam – what a cracking sail. Semut was a lovely protected anchorage in 12M on sand, and with coral reefs on 3 sides; so very calm and lots of snorkelling.

After 9hrs of the best sleep, we snorkelled for two hours. John saw a turtle and i saw a Kuhl’s stingray, about 45cm across and with a barbed tail half as long again. There were 3 small fishing boats rafted up nearby, and they offered the girls fish.

Fishing with a bucket?

We offered beer and milk in return, but of course they were only interested in the fresh milk (susu). John swam across with the milk carton in a bucket, and returned with 3 1kg++ excellent fresh fish.

And so it was pan fried bream with a citrus couscous  for a fabulous lunch.

We reluctantly left this anchorage – could have easily stayed a few days. And with a sunny sky, white caps, wind on the beam, and Veron on the helm, we powered along to Pendjalin Besar, dropping in 17M with all 60M of chain out.

A quick snorkel confirmed we had a well set anchor and plenty of swinging room. It was a windy and bit bouncy night, but we enjoyed a dark n stormy (rum and ginger ale), and roasted bream in the oven for dinner.

Next morning, we had excellent snorkelling,  John saw a cowtail stingray and I had a real surprise when i saw a 6’ black tipped reef shark. The beast took a couple of very deliberate and slow circles around me, and then (thankfully)  disappeared. I caught up with John and we saw him again, and as we headed the 400M back to the yacht, he followed us most of the way! I guess curious, or just showing us whose territory it really was. For obvious reasons, we decided to not mention to the girls!. After breakfast, we sailed off, 2 reefs in the main and a slightly reefed jib, close hauled towards Moonrock Lagoon, on a course similar to what we would have on our way back to SG, with waves breaking over the foredeck and occasionally coming over the helm. We followed the Howarth’s way points into the Lagoon, and anchored in front of Moonrock bluff.

This must be the signature anchorage in the Anambas. Protected to the North, East and South;  just spectacular. Smoked salmon and fresh bread for lunch. Then John and I paddled to the bluff, and made the 15min quite strenuous climb up. The views were truly spectacular and well worth the effort.

 

The view from the top

I think a couple of cold beers up there next time, watching the sunset would be perfect. Afterwards we all had a snorkel, then back on board for a refreshing GnT (the small freezer in the fridge makes just enough ice). Roast lamb in the oven, and a million stars in the sky – this is the place.

After b’fast, a spirited two reef sail on a single tack to Pulau Temuruk, also known as Sandspit island. A MOB exercise to recover my hat, then lunch, snorkelling and on to our overnight destination – Pulau Penjaul. We used our final fish tonight for a fish pie.

In the morning, we paddled to Pedjaul then to the next island to the west, where a caretaker couple look after an ambitious project which started with a rock jetty, some initial buildings, but then stalled. It may be a fabulous place one day. We sailed out around the bottom of Masabang, then continuously tacked up the channel to Temburan Waterfall. Veron and I paddled to the stilt village, then began up the steep steps. It proceeded to get more and more vertical, and we scrambled the last bit on all fours. We reached the top after 30mins for some great views over the waterfall down to the yacht.

 

Down the waterfall

We decided to walk down the new road on the way back, and bought a couple of tomatoes and potatoes. Most of the villages obviously run off a diesel generator for only a few hours a day, so no cold drinks here. We motored the short distance to Anambas Bay Resort South, and found a good anchorage in 20M close to the township. I winched John up the mast to tighten the radar reflector which had been spinning like a top, and then it was a GnT on a lovely calm anchorage.

Up early on day 10, i guess it was the Mosque music. We had noticed the head sail need some stitching (obviously damaged when it went in the water), so we took it down and John stitched it up. Then it was around the corner and into the main township of Terampa, so we could check out of Pak land. We piled into the kayak with a couple of bags of rubbish, and paddled ashore to the amusement of many.

First stop was Immigrassi. We followed their hillarious process with lots of copies of docs, chops, and selifes with the officers

Thanks for the chop, Pak!

Next it was Customs, more joking around and many new ways to pronounce Birregurra. More of the same and some skilled work on the typewriter at Quarantine. Our final stop was to find the Harbour Master having Makan and a smoke – some more paperwork and we were finally done. It all took a while but patience and good humour go a long way, and it saved us a trip back to Nongsa, so well worth it. Some Makan, then back on board after 3hrs. Our plan was to sail to Airabu, but with lots of tacking, we wisely decided to anchor north of Akar – you really need daylight coming into anchorages here. We definitely needed Google Earth to get our anchoring right here as the maps were a long way out. Tonight it’s Jane guacamole and tuna pasta bake b4 commencing the long haul back tomorrow.

The home run

We were up at 6am, and heard the strain on the anchor chain during the night, but all good. Coffee, a BLT wrap, topped up the fuel (didnt need to), and headed out into 19kn of apparent wind, two reefs, a big heel on a port tack. We had planned to drop in to Bawah. It is a fabulous anchorage, but is now a resort and they charge USD200 night to moor up – no anchoring now allowed. Anyway, we planned to just drop in for a look, but it would have cost us 6hrs, so we held course for SG. Close hauled into 2M seas, quite a bit of slamming, but we managed to hold a single tack all the way back. Around 5am, there was a very strong smell of diesel. We checked but found no leaks, and it abated after about 10mins, so we concluded we had sailed through a diesel spill/dump.

Almost as good as a CSC sunset

As the sun came up, we approached Tompok Utara, and crossed at the area where the tankers begin merging prior to them entering the TSS of the Middle Channel. We tracked up the northern edge of the channel, arriving Angler around 3pm. As the wind had finally dropped, we motor sailed the last 4hours. So we had 28hrs of continuous spirited sailing on the way home – what a bonus. We made the final hop to CSC, clocking up 589NM for the trip, and secured Birregurra to her trusty mooring, and had a cold beer aboard. Ferry boat, ferry boat on channel 77,  ashore, a hot shower, and we all joined a bbq with my team at CSC – a great way to finish a fabulous cruise.

We were perhaps incredibly lucky – no squalls, hardly any rain, fantastically consistent wind, sunshine, deep water, almost no traffic, no fishing nets and great anchorages. Some nice shore visits and a couple of very good hikes and lots of snorkelling made this a well balanced trip.

Next year?

It would be great to get a small flotilla from CSC interested for next year. 3-4 well prepared yachts would give some more safety in numbers. July/August seems to be the time to go. Preparation is the key.

We took Choy’s advice and used tank water for drinking, and largely avoided using plastic bottles at all, cutting down our rubbish by 70%. No generator – just a solar panel and running the alternator for a bit most days was enough to get us through. The fridge worked very well, and we had cold beer every night.

All in all a great trip, and looking forward to next year!

 

Cruising to Sibu and Tinggi and onwards to the CSC@Besar Regatta 2018

It was going to be a long week sailing I thought to myself on the Thursday afternoon as we set sail from CSC. At Lima Channel, as the sun began to set , we decided it was time to settle down for the night.  We anchored “Cicak” our Sprint Corsair trimaran just south of Tanjong Penawar at about 9pm and put up the tent. But at midnight, Mum and Dad thought that it was too rocky so we dropped the tent, pulled up the anchor, set the sails and sailed North through the night onto Jason’s bay. Lauren, Mummy and I did 1 hour watches on helm. We arrived at 5am, reset the anchor and went to sleep.

Cicak at the secret beach in Tinggi

From Jason’s bay, we sailed on up the coast to Pulau Sibu. The wind picked up and the sea got a bit rough with a lot of tall waves. When we arrived at Sibu, we felt relieved as we had bounced about quite a lot. As we landed a storm hit us and we had just enough time to set up our tent. As the rain splashed down on us, Lauren and I took the opportunity to wash ourselves. It was cold, but fun.

The next few days we went snorkeling in Sibu, went ashore for the occasional dinner and had movie nights on Cicak. On Sunday we said goodbye to Lauren and Mummy (they took a resort boat back from Sibu to Tanjong Lehman) as Lauren had to go back to school the following day. Dad and I then sailed on to the Northern side of Pulau Tinggi. We found a small bay with a beautiful white sand beach with no one there. Sadly there was a lot of rubbish above the high tide mark which spoiled the beauty of the place a bit. Dad and I went snorkelling and found an open cave. There was a school of fish inside and when we entered they all swam around frantically as they were scared of us. I was a bit worried as they were going super-fast. Some brushed against my skin and I could feel their smooth slimy skin.

 

On Monday after breakfast on the boat we sailed on to Pulau Besar to join the CSC fleet for the regatta. It took us around 1 and a half hours to get there. Dad and I alternated roles on the boat. I would helm then he would trim the sails and vice versa.  After anchoring off the Aseania resort, we met up with the rest of the regatta and had a nice warm shower at our room. Ah, it was so nice to finally have a warm shower after tossing and turning on the waves.

Cicak at anchor off Pulau Sibu with Tinggi in the background

Tuesday was day 1 of the regatta. Jakub Sharpe from “Southern Light” joined us and helped with all parts of the sail trim, which was a big help as it started with strong winds. It was rather breezy and it felt nice as the water splashed on our faces which was really cooling. It was quite exciting but not as much as the next day. On Wednesday, we were sailing around … when a storm began to build up behind us. As the storm built, so did the wind. We were speeding in the water and as I was on helm, I tried to make the boat go faster. We would go so fast but I would have to bear away as the sails would flap and the leeward ama would dive into the water. I ke

pt on doing this as we were going faster each time. The wind blew onto my hair, letting it flow behind me. We went as fast as 14.6 knots! That was my personal record and we were zooming past everyone. I could describe the experience in detail but it would never feel as exhilarating as it was there out in the water. I never felt more alive.

When we got back to shore, and the sun was setting, there was an amazing sunset. Picture this, the sun setting into the water. The sky has turned pink orange y

Early morning with the tent on Cicak and Tinggi in the background

ellow all blended together in an amazing shade. It was such a spectacular sight I wish I could restart that day all over again. Once the sun was gone, the moon and stars rose. That was when I met Thea Haugan (sailing with her family on “Southern Light”) and we immediately clicked and were chatting and laughing for the rest of the evening.

 

Thursday was a light wind day and it took us forever to sail past Pulau Besar. So Thea (who had joined our crew) and I started to sing songs that we knew to kept our spirits up. It felt like our singing was good because the breeze came back. The wind wasn’t that strong but it was enough to allow us to move while the others were left behind. We moved slowly, leaving our competitors behind. Helming once again, I steered us back to Besar and were one of the few who made it back within the time limit. This race took up a lot of my energy and I felt drained from head to toe. But that did not take my enthusiasm away. Once we reached the jetty, Thea and I decided to go jetty jumping. The first jump is always the worse as it doesn’t seem that high. At the same time, a rainbow formed and it was such a spectacular sight.

Soon it was time for the party so we got dressed and headed over to the bar. We had a massive barbecue with amazing food. It was so good that I had second helpings. I can still remember the smell of the smoke from the area where they were cooking the meat and seafood. After that we went to play a few games with the other kids from the regatta before walking along the beach. It was peaceful as Thea and I walked and talked. There was a soft breeze blowing at our face and the soft sound between our toes. With the sound of small waves crashing and the laughter and chatter of people, it felt like a perfect way to end another adventure.

The next day Dad and I woke up early preparing to set off while I traded numbers with Thea.  We said our goodbyes and left Besar. A part of me will always be in Besar and hopefully we will return again sometime in the future. We reached Singapore the following day after an overnight anchorage at Tanjong Siang and did immigration before meeting up with Mum and Lauren at CSC along with the other boats that had returned that day. Many thanks from all of Team Cicak to CSC and Aseania staff for putting on another brilliant CSC@Besar regatta.

Lauren Hill at the entrance to the secret cave at Pulau Sibu

Sasha at the entrance to the secret cave in Pulau Sibu

Sasha snorkelling

Sunset off Aseania resort at Pulau Besar

Team Cicak at Sea Gypsy bar at Pulau Sibu

Team Cicak leaving Jason’s Bay setting sail for Pulau Sibu

The author (Sasha) on the secret beach at Pulau Tinggi

J24 & Platu Championships 2018

Day 1

For the first time since its inclusion, the Platu Class had all 4 Platus in Singapore participating in the Nationals. In addition to the Club’s Boreas and Notus, SMU Sailing ‘s SMUve and SMUmad made things more interesting on water. Despite the excellent turn-out of 10 boats in total, the weather poured cold water (literally) on Day 1, with multiple bouts of rain causing trouble on the race course. This coupled with neverending windshifts resulted in the first race only commencing after 2pm and a total of 2 races sailed for the day.

In the Platu Class, Rebecca Goh’s SMUve leads the fleet with 2 bullets, fending off Notus and SMUmad – who completed both races in 2nd and 3rd respectively. She will be keeping a lookout for Pascal Radue’s Notus, who we should never write off for a comeback in day 2. The J24s see the rest of the fleet struggling to keep up with NUS Sailing Varsity Team’s RSYC Dua, skippered by Jonathan Yeo. Dua looks more polished compared to their debut last year, and look poised to claim silverware if they keep up the good performance. Shengli sits in 2nd place on 4 points, and will try to sneak in a few bullets on day 2 to close the gap with Dua. Defending Champions Balqis tie points with RSYC Satu and Angel, as all 3 look to get back in the game for the remaining races on Day 2.

Day 2

With the breeze setting in early from the west, Race Organisers were eager to start on time – only to be held back for another 15mins due to a large blue vessel crossing our course. Notus looked promising after Race 3, notching a bullet to close the gap with SMUve. Unfortunately 2 more victories from SMUve in Race 4 and 5 dashed all hopes of winning for Notus in the Platu Class, having to settle for 2nd place. A consolation bullet for SMUmad in the final race secured their position in 3rd on the podium. The J24 Class saw RSYC Dua sweep the remaining 3 races, finishing the series with 5 bullets. Shengli had a small blemish in Race 4, finishing 4th, but still comfortably maintained in 2nd place overall. Completing the podium in 3rd was 2017’s defending Champions, Balqis! Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to Notus, Boreas and Balqis for flying the CSC flag high for this regatta! Also many thanks to SMU Sailing and NUS Sailing Varsity Team for bringing their boats over for this year’s Nationals, making it a record number of 10 teams this year! Enjoy the photos and see you next year!

J24 Class Overall Result

Platus Class Overall Result

Telok Sengat / Sebana Cruise April 2018

After having focused the first three months of the year on racing, we had our first cruising event; bringing us to Telok Sengat and Sebana Cove. The cruise was held over the Easter weekend starting from the 30 March to 1 April 2018.

Due to time constrain and different interest, the cruise was divided into two interest groups. One consisting of Southern Light, Sui Lynn, Defiance and Cicak who went straight to Sebana while SDF and Red Rum went to Telok Sengat; we were joined by Temptress Of Down and Out Of The Blue II who came from Sebana Cove from where they were based.

For the boats that went straight to Sebana the immigration check-in was as per normal; easy. However, things weren’t made easier for those checking in at Tanjong Pengilih. The marina where we used to enter for immigration clearance has now been taken over by the Malaysian Maritime Police. Pleasure crafts are no longer allowed entry to the marina.

It was a little more troublesome but wasn’t the end of the world for us. We had a tender, so the crew on board SDF and Red Rum were ferried to the passenger terminal for clearance. So, if you are planning to check in at Tanjong Pengilih, remember to bring a tender along, anchor off the passenger terminal and bring yourself in. The local agent that you should contact for assistance is Mr Hairul, Udat Marine, at tel: +601786946889.

By late afternoon all the boats heading for Sengat had arrived. After spending the rest of the daylight putting their boats away, we gathered at 6.30pm at a small seafood/coffee shop for our dinner. And as always, the table was crowded with a variety of seafood dishes. By around 9 pm, we had finished with the feasting and we made our way back to our respective boat for a well-deserved rest.

After breakfast on the following morning, the only ones that had the energy to get back to shore was Derek and his family who had decided to take a short hike to a nearby crocodile farm; time well spent so I understood.

By noon we were all on our way to Sebana to catch up the rest for another night of more food and fun. It was pleasant sail back down the Johor River and into Shanti and arriving at Sebana. Sebana is quite an ideal place if you are looking for a location to spend a relaxing weekend with family or friends.

So thanks to all who came for the cruise.